Arabic Vocabulary That You May Need Someday

arabic vocabularyThe Arabic language is quite ancient, with roots that go back as far as the 6th century. It is now spoken by over 420 million people throughout the Arab world, with high concentrations of Arabic speakers living in the Middle East, as well as North and East Africa, with many other enclaves of speakers residing throughout the world. There are also scores of dialects and variations of the language existing, with different ethnic groups, countries, and geographic locations speaking their own version of Arabic. Today, we are focusing on Modern Standard Arabic, which would probably be understood by speakers of other Arabic dialects.

Today we will be scratching the surface of this ancient language, discussing some of its vocabulary. The way we will be presenting it today should be ideal for those with little to no experience with Arabic, as the words will not be in Arabic script, but rather transliterated using English letters. So, if you find yourself needing some quick Arabic words, or just a little curious, you’re in the right place. If you’d like to delve deeper into this, or any other new language, this article on how to learn a new language, along with this course on how teach yourself a foreign language will you save time and money as you become bilingual.

As you already are aware, we are just discussing basic Arabic vocabulary. There will be no grammar or rules on punctuation, but simply just Arabic words that would likely be used in many different types of situations. To make it easier for you to find specific words you may need, there will be handy subject heading to mark the different groups of vocabulary. To learn how to memorize vocabulary for any language, this course on the Magnetic Memory Method will help some of those pesky words stick.

Greetings

Those Arabic speakers that you greet will most likely be Muslim, and there are certain things to remember when greeting a practitioner of Islam. You will shake hands every time you meet, both at the beginning and at the end of a conversation. Make sure to make eye contact, never appear to be in a rush, and don’t be nervous or otherwise high-strung. If you have a trip planned to a Muslim country, or any other overseas destination, this course on how to travel with confidence will help improve your travel skills.

  • Hi (Salam!)
  • Good morning (Sabah el kheer)
  • Good evening (Masaa el kheer)
  • How are you (Kaifa haloka)
  • I’m fine, thanks (Ana bekhair, shokran)
  • Good/so-so (Jayed/’aadee)
  • Thank you/very much (Shokran/jazeelan)
  • You’re welcome (Al’afw)
  • Good night (Tosbeho)
  • Goodbye (Ma’a salama)

Body Parts

  • arm (deraa’)
  • back (thahr)
  • chest (sadr)
  • chin (thaqn)
  • ear (othon)
  • eye (‘ayn)
  • face (wajh)
  • finger (esba’)
  • foot (qadam)
  • hair (sha’r)
  • hand (yad)
  • head (ra’s)
  • heart (qalb)
  • leg (saaq)
  • lip (shafah)
  • mouth (fam)
  • nose (anf)
  • shoulder (katef)
  • stomach (ma’edah)
  • throat (halq)
  • tongue (lesaan)
  • tooth (sen)

Animals

Animals are revered in most Arabic speaking nations, with bats, birds, camels, and cats all revered to some degree in these places. Swine is usually prohibited from being eaten by Muslim law, but vegetarianism is not widely practiced. Snakes and dogs are both associated with viciousness and evil in some Muslim countries.

  • alligator (temsaah)
  • bear (dob)
  • bird (Ta’er)
  • cat (qett)
  • cow (baqarah)
  • dog (kalb)
  • donkey (hemaar)
  • fish (samak)
  • goat (maa’ez)
  • hog (kalb albahr)
  • horse (hesaan)
  • lion (asad)
  • monkey (qerd)
  • mouse (fa’r)
  • sheep (kharoof)
  • snake (af’aa)
  • tiger (namer)
  • wolf (the’b)

Food

Like most cultures, food and eating are very important in Muslim and Arabic speaking nations. Because their ancestors lived in and around harsh desert climates, the hospitality of others helped sustain many of these people. If you’re lucky enough to visit one of these countries, expect much hospitality and generosity, and remember to eat with your right hand, don’t put your feet up on anything, don’t wear shorts, and generally be on your best behavior.

  • appetizer (moqabbalaat)
  • apple (toffaha)
  • artichoke (ardy shawqi)
  • bacon (lahm khenzeer)
  • banana (mawz)
  • beef (lahm baqar)
  • beet (shamandar)
  • blackberry (‘ollaiq)
  • bread (khobz)
  • breakfast (fotoor)
  • butter (zubdah)
  • cabbage (malfoof)
  • candy (halwaa)
  • carrot (jazar)
  • celery (korfoss)
  • cheese (jubn)
  • chickey (dajajah)
  • cucumber (kheyaar)
  • dessert (mo’aqqebaat)
  • dinner (‘ashaa’)
  • fig (teen)
  • fish (samak)
  • food (ta’aam)
  • fork (shawkah)
  • fruit (fawakeh)
  • kitchen (matbakh)
  • lamb (kharoof)
  • lunch (ghadaa’)
  • meat (lahm)
  • onion (basal)
  • plate/dish (tabaq)
  • potato (batates)
  • restaurant (mat’am)
  • salt (melh)
  • snack (wajbah khafeefah)
  • soup (hasaa’)
  • sugar (sukkar)
  • teapot (ebreeq ashay)
  • vegetables (khadraawaat)

Time and Weather and Numbers 

It’s helpful to be able to count and discuss time in a foreign language. Whether you’re making an attempt to use these words, or reading the paper to find out what time something is happening or what the weather is looking like, these could be important to know on a vacation.

  • 1 (wahid)
  • 2 (ithnaan)
  • 3 (thalaatha)
  • 4 (arba’a)
  • 5 (khamsa)
  • 6 (sitta)
  • 7 (sab’a)
  • 8 (thamania)
  • 9 (tiss’a)
  • 10 (‘ashra)
  • January (yonayer)
  • February (fabrayer)
  • March (mares)
  • April (abreel)
  • May (may)
  • June (younyou)
  • July (youlyouz)
  • August (ghusht)
  • September (shutanber)
  • October (oktober)
  • November (nowanber)
  • December (dojamber)
  • bad weather (taqs saye’)
  • cloudy (ghaa’em)
  • cold (baared)
  • foggy (dababi)
  • hot (haar)
  • nice weather (aljaw jameel)
  • raining (tomter)
  • snow (thalj)
  • sunny (moshmess)
  • windy (‘aasef)

Verbs and Prepositions

While we’re not going over any grammar here today, it may benefit you to be familiar with some verbs and prepositions in order to better explain things if necessary. If you don’t wish to go to the trouble of taking actual Arabic classes, this may prove helpful to you. However, if you do wish to put in that extra effort, this course on Arabic for beginners will teach yo some of the basics of the language.

  • and (wa)
  • above (fawq)
  • under (that)
  • before (qabl)
  • after (baad)
  • in front of (amam)
  • behind (waraa)
  • far from (baeed an)
  • near (qareeb)
  • in (fe)
  • inside (dakhel)
  • outside (kharej)
  • with (maa)
  • without (bedun)
  • between (bain)
  • but (laken)
  • from (men)
  • to (ela)
  • agree (waafaqa)
  • answer (ajaaba)
  • ask (sa’ala)
  • be (kaana)
  • begin (bada’a)
  • bless (baaraka)
  • bring (ahdara)
  • buy (eshtaraa)
  • call (ettasala)
  • clean (naddafa)
  • come (ataa)
  • cut (jaraha)
  • dance (raqasa)
  • disagree (‘aarada)
  • dislike (kareha)
  • do (‘amala)
  • drink (shareba)
  • drive (qaada)
  • eat (akala)
  • end (anha)
  • enjoy (estamta’a)
  • enter (dakhala)
  • fall (saqata)
  • feel (sha’ara)
  • fight (taqaatala)
  • find (wajada)
  • fly (taara)
  • forget (nasia)
  • get (ahdara)
  • go (dahaba)
  • help (saa’ada)
  • hug (‘aanaqa)
  • hurt (jaraha)
  • know (‘arafa)
  • laugh (daheka)
  • learn (ta’allama)
  • leave (taraka)
  • live (‘aacha)
  • make (sana’a)
  • move (entaqala)
  • need (ehtaaja)
  • open (fataha)
  • order (amara)
  • pay (dafa’a)
  • play (la’eba)
  • pray (sallaa)
  • put (wada’a)
  • receive (estalama)
  • reply (ajaaba)
  • see (ra’aa)
  • shop (tasawwaqa)
  • take (akhada)
  • talk (tahaddatha)
  • think (fakkara)
  • touch (lamasa)
  • wait (entadara)

General 

These are some of the words that may have slipped through the cracks, though may potentially be very important.

  • bathroom (hammam)
  • bed (feraash)
  • bathtub (banio)
  • bedroom (ghorat annawm)
  • blouse (blousa)
  • bookcase (maktabah)
  • brother (akh)
  • carpet (sajjadah)
  • chair (korsee)
  • closet (khezaanah)
  • clothes/clothing (malabess)
  • coat (me’taf)
  • cousin (bent al’amm)
  • dress (lebaas)
  • father (ab)
  • floor (ard)
  • furniture (athath)
  • hat (qubba’ah)
  • house (bayt)
  • husband (zawj)
  • mother (umm)
  • nephew (ebn al akh)
  • niece (bent al akh)
  • rug (sajjadah)
  • shirt (gamees)
  • shoes (hezaa’)
  • soap (saaboon)
  • soccer (korat al qadam)
  • table (taawelah)
  • toilet (merhaad)
  • umbrella (medallah)
  • wife (zawjah)

Hopefully you can get some real world experience with a few of these Arabic words. While you may not recognize them in their native Arabic letters, you can still bust them out when speaking with native Arabic speakers, and native speakers of all languages appreciate it when visitors try to speak in their native tongue. If you’d like to learn more about written Arabic, this course on reading and writing Arabic will help you to recognize these words in their native script.